Say What? Hearing Loss Doesn't Always Stop

Posted on: 30 June 2015

If you have hearing aids and find yourself turning the volume up on them more and more, go to an audiologist to have your hearing checked again. Sometimes turning up the volume on a hearing aid is legitimate -- you're listening to someone who is very soft-spoken, for example. But if you have to adjust the volume daily and in different situations, it could be that your hearing has worsened yet again. And if you don't get your hearing re-checked and your hearing aid prescription updated, you could create a damage spiral that doesn't lead anywhere good.

Gradual Changes

Hearing loss is not an on/off situation. You don't either have perfect hearing or one level of loss that you're stuck with for the rest of your life. Hearing loss can get worse, both for the same reason you experienced the initial loss and for additional reasons. For example, you could have hearing loss due to noise exposure, and then several years after that diagnosis, you could develop more hearing loss due to aging. So you want to protect the hearing you have.

Ensuring your hearing aid prescription is up to date is one of the best ways to do that. If you are experiencing new hearing loss levels, and you make the volume on your hearing aids louder and louder, the increasing sound pressure that goes into your ears can create noise-induced hearing loss. Frequencies at which you previously had no issue can get worse, and frequencies at which you already have some loss will just become harder to hear. So in response, you keep turning up the volume, and your hearing will get worse and worse and worse.

Periodic Monitoring

Instead, note how often you need to change the volume. If you have to do that almost daily in situations that you didn't have to adjust to when you first got the hearing aids, see your audiologist for another hearing exam. Better yet, have yearly tests just to ensure you stay on top of any major changes. The audiologist can have your current hearing aids adjusted slightly to accommodate for minor changes. That will also make it easier for you to adjust to new hearing aids if you have a major change in your prescription because you'll have less of an increase to deal with -- the change won't be as shocking as it would be if you didn't have those minor adjustments done.

Don't risk the hearing you have left. Talk to your audiologist about additional hearing tests if you start to have problems with your current hearing aids. Remember, you can't get your hearing back once you have a permanent shift in your hearing threshold.  For more information, contact a professional like Clarity & Comfort Hearing Center.